Body composition is the makeup of your body in terms of fat, muscle, tissue, and water. It is important for athletes to consider because it can affect their performance, risk of injury, and overall health.
Methods of Measurement
Body composition can be measured using different methods. The most basic method measures fat mass and fat-free mass, which includes all body components except for fat. The more compartments that are measured, the more accurate the results are.
Reasons for Measurement
Athletes may want to measure their body composition for different reasons, such as tracking their body composition goals, assessing their injury risk, and determining their health risk if they are underweight or overweight. The methods used for measurement require different levels of accuracy.
Techniques for Measurement
There are several techniques used to measure body composition, such as using a Dual Energy X-Ray Absorptiometry (DXA) machine, Bioelectrical Impedance Analysis (BIA), and ISAK Skinfold Measurements. Each method has varying degrees of accuracy, reliability, and cost.The DXA machine measures body composition using two low-energy x-rays that are absorbed differently by bone and tissues. BIA measures the impedance of a small electrical current passed through the body, with muscle tissue containing a higher water content than fat tissue. ISAK Skinfold Measurements measure subcutaneous fat thickness at various sites across the body.
Limitations of Measurement
It is important to note that these methods only provide an estimate of body composition because they are based on assumptions about the compartments measured. The methods have limitations and can be influenced by hydration status.
In conclusion, body composition analysis is an important aspect of sports performance, injury risk assessment, and overall health. Understanding the advantages and limitations of each method can help athletes and coaches determine the most appropriate method for their needs.